Gardner Fox literary manuscripts, comic books and other material , 1936-1978

Overview of the Collection

Gardner Fox literary manuscripts, comic books and other material
1936-1978 (inclusive)
31.25 linear feet, (65 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 008
Gardner Fox (1911-1986) was a comic script writer and author of pulp fiction. The collection contains manuscripts, comic books, paperback books, periodicals, and miscellany.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

A prolific author of comic books, westerns, short stores, novels and science fiction, Gardner "Gar" Francis Fox (1911-1986) was one of the most influential comic book script writers in the business. A part of this branch of Americana since its inception, Fox wrote before the advent of Superman and Batman and continued to script comics until his death.

Born in Brooklyn on May 20th, 1911, he graduated from St. John's University with a B.A. in 1932 and later with an LL.B. in 1935. In 1936 he became a lawyer, practicing law by day and writing adventure stories at night. In 1938, his long career of successful free-lance writing began with the publication of stories in Detective Comics. For this series, he created and wrote the scripts for the character Steve Malone, District Attorney. His first published short story, "Weirds of the Woodcarver," appeared in Weird Stories, 1944, and his first novel, Borgia Blade, appeared in 1953 published by Gold Medal Books.

In the early years of comic books, he created the first Flash comic, wrote for Justice Society of America, did several issues of Detective Batman, Dr. Fate, Spectre and Starman, all for National Comics. He later created Magazine Enterprises' Ghost Rider, one of the most widely read series of the period when heroes began to fade out. For Columbia Comics, he wrote some Big Shot Comics. Later, when revivals were popular, he wrote Adam Strange, Justice Society of America, Justice League and other super hero stories.

Some of the pseudonyms under which Fox wrote are: Jefferson Cooper, Rod Gray, Kevin Matthews, Bart Somers, John Henry Morgan, James Kendricks, John Steele, Simon Majors, Troy Conway and Lynna Cooper.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection incorporates material received in 1980 with the original collection received in 1967 (formerly under call number Ax 337). It consists of manuscripts and a variety of published material including fan periodicals, periodicals (some containing Fox's work), comic books, and paperback books.

The manuscripts have been separated into book-length, novellas, and story-length, and are arranged alphabetically by title within each subseries. Most of the manuscripts are carbon copies. When letters from Fox's agent, the August Lenniger Literary Agency, pertained directly to a manuscript, they were included with the manuscript.

Approximately thirty fan periodicals, illustrated by the super heroes of the comic field and arranged by title, begin the published works series. These are followed by Fox's collection of military magazines, and then other periodicals also arranged by title. Issues including Fox's work list the article title. Tear-sheets have been described briefly, but not listed individually. Over 600 comic books, arranged alphabetically by title, make up the next subseries of published works and provide a panorama of this field of writing. Comic books by Fox have not been distinguished from those he collected, although he has scripted the majority of them.

The final series of the collection is miscellaneous material. Over 200 letters from avid fans of all ages are first, followed by four notebooks containing information on costumes, setting, and plots. The collection ends with research notes, plot outlines, business correspondence with literary agencies, stills from a Western movie, circa 1950s, and other miscellany.

Photographs include prints.

Gardner Fox's published books, previously stored in this manuscript collection, have been removed and are now cataloged individually.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Cartoonists--United States
  • Comic book fans--Correspondence
  • Comic books, strips, etc.--Authorship
  • Comic books, strips, etc.--Specimens
  • Comic books, strips, etc.--United States
  • Detective and mystery stories, American--Authorship
  • Fan magazines--Specimens
  • Military art and science--Periodicals
  • Pulp literature, American--Authorship

Personal Names

  • Fox, Garnder F. (Gardner Francis), 1911-1986

Corporate Names

  • August Lenniger Literary Agency

Form or Genre Terms

  • Comics
  • Manuscripts for publication